Effects of Vermicompost Applied in a High Tunnel

Final Report for FNE03-486

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2003: $3,912.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2004
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $5,108.00
Region: Northeast
State: Pennsylvania
Project Leader:
Claire Orner
Quiet Creek Herb Farm
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Project Information

Summary:

Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE03-486

The goal of this project was to determine if vermicompost affected yield, health, or maturity of different vegetable crops and herbs raised in a high tunnel and to determine the economic ramifications of using vermicompost in high tunnels. Six beds in the high tunnel received applications of vermicompost and six beds had applications of composted dairy cattle manure. Two varieties of peppers, three varieties of tomatoes, one variety of eggplant, and four herbs were grown in each treatment.

Production was weighed at each harvest and totaled at the end of the growing season. There was a slight trend towards higher yields in the beds treated with vermicompost but no definitive conclusions could be drawn due to a lack of replication. Vermicompost increased the cost of production for both vegetables and herbs. The result in the vegetable crops was often a larger loss (larger negative return to management) than when dairy manure was used. The herb crops appeared to have a more favorable response to the application of vermicompost, resulting in larger profits than the herb crops that received dairy manure. There was no effect on health of the plants.

Cooperators

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  • Mark Douglas

Research

Participation Summary
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.